John Frusciante unofficial – Invisible Movement

Style examples in July’s Total Guitar

In this month's edition of Total Guitar, there's somewhat of a Red Hot Chili Peppers feature, covering all of their guitar players of the past and interviewing the current one. There are two brief examples on how to play like John, one in his 1988-1992 style and the other in his 1998-2008 style.

Click the thumbnails to go to the pages with the scans in the gallery or click here.


If you're interested in purchasing the magazine, you may do so here and the cover has been provided as this news item's thumbnail, for your reference.

*Many thanks to Lucas Ades for the scans.

  • Untitled #14

    I know this is slightly off topic, but one of my biggest regrets is not learning to play the guitar. I started having lessons at 8 years old but sports and other hobbies got in the way - I soon quit. 13 years later I still can't play and it kills me knowing that with a few years practice I could be playing my favourite songs; instead, my beautiful Fender Strat is just sitting there untouched.

    I know it's never too late to start learning to play an instrument, but unfortunately I have a huge lack of time due to other commitments. I don't know, maybe one day I'll be able to play. I guess my point is, if you're young and thinking of learning, then please - do not let anything stop you!

    • Serge

      You could be playing your favourite songs in half a year. And you could be playing music right away. Just go ahead. You will always find time if you actually try.

    • Serge

      And you have a Fender Strat, while I have to make the best of playing Hendrix on my Squier. It's all there for you, actually.

    • raindogmx

      Man, take your guitar off its case and leave it laying around in the living room or somewhere else that you are usually around in your house. Just pick it up and play whenever you have 5 minutes and leave it there. I've found a big issue for me was the whole ritual of bringing the guitar out. Just leave it around.

  • rob

    I just turned 42 and started playing 4 months ago, i regret not starting sooner but i look at it like this- im gonna be in a band within 5 years playing some frusciante tunes.

  • AzteC

    I wish I started earlier as well. I got my first guitar at around 17, and didn't really get serious about it til 21. It really comes down to picking up the instrument everyday for at least a little bit. It builds a drive to get better, and through the right resources and practice, you will get there.

  • Iva

    Since you folks know a lot, any advice for me?

    I inherited a plain acoustic guitar from my father, he used to pretend to play it on parties and nobody cared that he was just strumming random nonsense, as he had an amazing voice and could make the floors and stuff on tables vibrate when he would sing. I would like to know how much playing would I need to make my poetry readings more memorable. I assume it would need to be minimalistic; but from what I know in other forms of art, one has to be really good at something to try minimalism...

    Otherwise, I have an annoying contralto and I cannot sing anything higher than "Twist In My Sobriety".

    Thanks in advance. šŸ™‚

    • Serge

      I guess the best way to accompany poetry for beginners is arpeggiating. To put it simple, that means just playing strings one by one, one at a time, while you are holding down chords, playing a certain pattern (say, bass-3-2-1) for each chord and then changing it. You can look for more info about that on Wikipedia, and you can look for lessons on Ultimate Guitar. - I wrote a simple song using that technique in two or three months of learning. However, it came up naturally, though if you try it intentionally, you can probably do it within a day or two.
      However, I would not suggest learning guitar with any reason other than simply learning. The best is to just master it step by step, and eventually you will see pretty easily what you can do with it - and you will able to do a lot, rather than just figuring out one thing. Actually, that way of learning is the most productive while being the least annoying. It's natural.
      As for me, I've been playing for nearly two years. I've had half a year of practice with a teacher on an acoustic guitar, then I bought an electric one and practiced myself. I didn't really push it, after I learnt the basics (which was in around five lessons with the teacher) I was always wishing just to take my guitar and play something I know, or learn something I've just heard if I thought I could play it. Now I can play pretty much anything after spending a little time on learning it - Hendrix's Little Wing, for instance. As for playing other people's songs by using simple chord strumming - I can play a song right away just looking at the chords, and I can repeat a rhythm pattern right after hearing it easily. As for songwriting, I can improvise solos - just play something out of my head without it being screwed up by bad technique. - The main point in learning to play something out of your head is figuring out other songs by ear, which sets up a connection between what you hear (not what you see in tabs) and what your hand plays, and this is how you can get the music you hear in your head (which you hear, not see) to come out of your guitar. All that John did when he was 16 was emulating the music he liked, figuring out how to play it by ear.
      Anyways, I was getting to the point - I'm not saying all that to brag, I'm just saying that it's not so hard, and in two years you'll be able to do much more than you think. While not having to try hard - I did not, and I wouldn't say I have any talent at all. After spending some time working on the basics I only picked up my guitar to get fun - and I did it a lot, and now I'm quite skilled - which is just a nice bonus for me. I guess the only other thing I did was that I always tried to find out what my favourite musicians had to say on that matter (Frusciante in The Heart Is A Drum Machine, for instance), so eventually I got more informed on how it all works.
      So my advice to you is to find out about arpeggios and arpeggiating and try to do it, and if you really get involved, something good might come out pretty quickly. Though I also suggest that you learn the basics properly (maybe with a teacher), and after some time you can practice yourself - and you won't quit just because it will be pure fun for you, and you will not have to force yourself.
      Also I suggest you check out Justin Sandercoe, who is a YouTube guitar teacher that I find really great. He has lessons on anything: from technique for beginners and songs lessons up to blues lead guitar lessons. His website is
      Hope I heped.